Recognizing the Signs of Peripheral Vascular Disease (PVD)

Ortho Engineering in Los Angeles offers solutions for patients suffering from PVD symptoms.

Peripheral vascular disease (PVD) — also known as peripheral arterial disease (PAD) — is a serious blood vessel disease that affects 8-12 million men and women in the United States. This common condition develops when the arteries supplying blood to your legs become clogged with plaque. 

Plaque forms when extra cholesterol and fatty deposits collect on the walls of your arteries. As plaque builds up, your arteries grow more and more narrow, which can reduce or block blood flow through your veins. While most people know that having clogged arteries in your heart is dangerous, the blockages caused by PVD are equally serious. That’s because it not only increases your risk for heart attacks and strokes, but the reduced blood flow to your lower limbs can increase your chances of developing leg and foot sores, injuries, and infections that can lead to amputation.

At Ortho Engineering Inc., with locations throughout Southern California, our skilled team understands the impact PVD can have on your health and mobility. By recognizing the symptoms of PVD early and taking the right steps, you can reduce your risk of developing serious complications. Whether you need orthotics, prosthetics, or therapeutic shoes, we can help.

Symptoms of PVD

Peripheral vascular disease can cause a wide range of symptoms that can vary from mild to severe, especially if you have claudication. Claudication describes pain that starts with activity — such as walking — but stops when you rest. The location of this type of pain depends on where you have a clogged or narrowed artery, but it usually occurs in the calf.

If you have peripheral vascular disease, you can have pain while you’re active, resting, or laying down. In some cases, your pain can be so debilitating it disrupts your sleep. When you have PVD, you might find that walking around or hanging your legs over the edge of your bed can temporarily relieve your symptoms.

Additional symptoms of peripheral vascular disease can include:

It’s also possible to have PVD without any noticeable symptoms, so it’s important to know your risks and discuss your concerns with your doctor.

Developing PVD

The exact cause of peripheral vascular disease isn’t known, but several factors can increase your chances of developing the condition, including:

Your chances of having PVD are also higher if you have a personal or family history of heart disease. While PVD usually occurs in the legs, it can also cause issues with the arteries in your arms, head, kidneys, and stomach.

Treating PVD

If you have peripheral vascular disease, you can take steps to reduce your risk of health-related complications and preserve your affected limb. 

Depending on the extent of your PVD, your doctor might recommend a combination of lifestyle changes, medications, or medical procedures. We also work with doctors in the area to provide diabetic shoes and prosthetics for men and women with PVD.

Diabetic shoes

This customized type of footwear can help minimize your risk of developing foot sores, ulcers, calluses, or infections due to trauma or swelling.

Prosthetics

We can create prosthetics to match your limb if you lose a foot or leg due to PVD. These customized devices are designed based on your physical ability and specific amputation to help return you to the activities you love.

For more information on diagnosing peripheral vascular disease, contact your physician to see if Ortho Engineering Inc. can help reduce your risk of health-related complications.